The Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee oversees laws related to the Coast Guard, shipping and all aspects of maritime transportation.
U.S. Coast Guard Authorization: On December 20, 2012, the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2012 was signed into law. The measure institutes common sense reforms for the U.S. Coast Guard, reduces regulatory burdens on small business, and upholds the Coast Guard’s ability to carry out its important and diverse missions. The bill was first introduced in the House by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John L. Mica (R-FL) and Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee Chairman Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ).
The two-year bill enhances operations while reducing costs by reforming and improving Coast Guard administration and eliminating obsolete authorities. The bill recognizes the current budget environment and saves taxpayer dollars without impacting the service’s critical missions.
Furthermore, the bill encourages job growth in the maritime sector by reducing regulatory burdens on small businesses. The regulatory relief provided by this bill includes eliminating the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requirement for maritime workers to make multiple trips to a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) enrollment center to receive the TWIC ID card; extending deadlines for compliance with new Coast Guard regulations on fishing vessels to ensure the service can enforce them fairly and properly; and extending the duration of medical certificates so mariners can continue to work while the Coast Guard reduces its backlog of applications.
The measure also extends for an additional year the current moratorium for fishing vessels and small commercial vessels’ compliance with tangled and bureaucratic EPA regulations governing vessel incidental discharges, such as rain water runoff and air conditioner condensate.(more information)
The Piracy Suppression Act of 2011: H.R. 2839, the Piracy Suppression Act of 2011, was approved by the Committee on September 8, 2011. The bill bolsters the United States’ ability to counter piracy by strengthening existing authorities and providing the federal government with additional options, including increasing the penalty for piracy to include capital punishment. H.R. 2839 was introduced by Subcommittee Chairman LoBiondo and co-sponsored by Full Committee Chairman Mica. Key provisions of this bill are included in the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2011.
Maritime Transportation: The Committee supports the development of a national strategic transportation plan that includes a strong maritime transportation component and greater use of coastwise trade. Marine highways represent a cost effective but underutilized mode of transportation, and the Committee will examine ways to encourage the use of short-sea shipping, or shipping between domestic ports in the United States. This concept has the potential to create new maritime industry jobs for Americans.
Oil Spill Prevention and Response: The Coast Guard was the first federal agency to respond to the DEEPWATER HORIZON oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The service also assumed the role as the Federal On-Scene Coordinator and the National Incident Commander for the spill.
The Committee will work to ensure that the nation’s oil spill prevention and response capabilities protect the environment without threatening U.S. jobs. The Committee is also committed to ensuring that future deepwater drilling permits are not rubberstamped and that adequate technologies, more thorough inspections, better oversight and better planning are required for future exploration and drilling activities. We can provide responsible environmental safeguards while continuing to utilize domestic energy resources and ensuring vital energy sector jobs.
Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation
507 Ford HOB
Washington, DC 20515